February 22, 2022

Article at respectnews.ca

Celebrate our progress, and fight on

I wish I could share the optimism of those who feel that the Omicron wave is over, and the Covid pandemic is behind us. For what my opinion is worth, I don’t.

But I can always hope.

Recent local events gave us a glimpse of what we have to look forward to, and it’s promising. I loved covering the Funspiel at St. Paul Curling Club—not just because I am a curling fan, but because it was fantastic to see people of all ages enjoying a community event.

It was also fantastic to see people supporting Haying In The ‘30s, an inspiring and priceless local charity. My first visit to Mallaig for Haying In the 30s was in 2019, the last year it was able to run before restrictions set in. They are blessed with a hard-working organizing committee, and I can’t imagine a community initiative that deserves some good news this summer more than they do.

And what a turnout for the Cold Lake Ice Fishing Tournament! This was another successful fundraiser, with Age Friendly Cold Lake generating the funds they need to provide important services to older adults.

On Saturday, I was able to attend a Kinosoo Performing Arts concert for the first time in ages. Over the weekend, our communities celebrated Family Day with all kinds of activities, indoors and out.

I’ve got my room booked in Edmonton to cover the Alberta 55 Plus Winter Games in April, and I’m planning to go to the Summer Games in Peace River and the Canada Games in Kamloops as well. I’d love to see the seniors’ games movement revive and grow.

We have an airshow to look forward to this summer! This massive biennial undertaking brings thousands of people to our region, and raises funds that benefit morale and welfare programs for Canadian Armed Forces personnel in Cold Lake. And they put on a darn good show!

I look forward to a spring and summer with commerce and community activities thriving again, seniors’ centres opening up, arts festivals, outdoor concerts, ball tournaments, and rodeos.

So I will share in the hope that we are finally emerging from this nightmare.

And I will continue to do my bit. I am sick and tired of wearing my mask, but I will continue to wear it indoors until we see infection rates truly decline. I’ll avoid situations where I’m not comfortable about public health measures. I’ll keep a respectful distance from others to help prevent spreading infection.

The “rules” keep changing, and a lot of them don’t make sense. They are guided as much by narrow political considerations as they are by public health requirements. As restrictions are lifted, it’s up to us to make our own decisions and do what’s needed to protect ourselves and others.

I wish I had more faith that enough people will think this way; maybe they will prove me wrong. Maybe this spring will melt away not just these mountains of snow, but our feelings of confinement and our lingering air of bitterness and distrust.

I would love nothing better, and that’s why I will continue to do my bit—whether it’s mandatory or not.